Woody Harrelson Playing LBJ In New Biopic From Rob Reiner


Everyone always talks about the first season of HBO’s True Detective as part of the McConaissance, marking star Matthew McConaughey’s ascension to the top of the A-list, so it’s easy to forget that the series also featured a stunning performance from co-lead Woody Harrelson. Luckily, enough people have their heads screwed on straight that Harrelson is still landing lead roles, and today brings news that the actor has boarded a project seemingly primed for awards attention: biopic LBJ.

Rob Reiner, the veteran helmer whose best films include Stand By MeA Few Good Men and When Harry Met Sally…, is sitting behind the camera for the biopic, which has been gathering steam for years. Though it was previously thought that Reiner would be adapting biography Means of Ascent by Robert Caro into a script, the latest news has it that the helmer is working from Joey Hartstone’s screenplay LBJ, which made the 2014 Black List. Here’s the official synopsis:

Lyndon Johnson goes from powerful Senate Majority Leader, powerless Vice President to President of the United States following the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

The last on-screen portrayal of Johnson came when Tom Wilkinson played him in last year’s Selma. That portrayal created a bit of a stir in Johnson’s loyal base of supporters, with many claiming that the film put him in an unfairly negative light. It’s been well-documented that Johnson was a proactive supporter of the Civil Rights Movement who worked with Martin Luther King, Jr. to affect change, but the movie was seen by some as suggesting that he played more of an adversarial role, sometimes seeming reluctant or obstructionist in his actions related to the movement.

Suffice to say, there’s a great deal of nuance to capture in any portrayal of the former president, and so it will be exciting to see a movie built entirely around him. Reiner is now looking to cast Robert Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey, Ted Sorenson and Jackie Kennedy, with hopes of getting this pic up and running as soon as possible. Reiner hasn’t made a truly good movie since 1995’s The American President, so perhaps LBJ will be what puts him back on the map. Recruiting Harrelson for the lead role is definitely a step in that direction.

Source: The Playlist